A recipe for spicy and fragrant Thai peanut chicken curry with coconut milk and plenty of cilantro on top.
The trailhead sits at the side of the road, burrowing deep into the woods that surround the lake. Just a few steps in and the world changes: the snow absorbs sound and softens the landscape. A bright white covers everything, a few trail markers the only indication of which way to go. Each footfall is met with the crunch of snow beneath your boot, the air so cold it takes your breath away.
One by one, the kids run past into the open playground. Squeals of delight carry through the snowy landscape as they ball up fresh fallen fluff and toss it at each other, ducking and laughing when they hit their mark. The wind leaves pink-tinged kisses on their cheeks.
We return home later, cold but happy. Boots are kicked off, and hats, gloves, and coats are laid out in front of the heating vents to dry. Rice steams on the counter waiting for our return, a slight floral and nutty smell indicating its presence there.
Oil and chicken are tossed in a wok as herbs are stripped and green onions are chopped. Ingredients are added to the chicken – spices and cream, peanut butter, pungent sauces – and they are left to simmer while the table is set and a salad is made.
The contrast of sweet and sour, creamy and rich to bright and fresh, combine in one comforting meal that’s easily given the title of “winter comfort food.” A slight heat hits the back of your throat and keeps you returning to the plate for more.
Did you know I live in the USA’s Healthiest and Fittest city? It’s also the coldest major city in the country, but that doesn’t seem to factor when it comes to activity levels. In the bitter chill of each winter, a medallion hunt in conjunction with the St. Paul Winter Carnival has clues pointing eager hunters to different county parks in search of the prize. This year’s medallion was found in a park down the street during one of the coldest mornings we’ve had all year just past week.
Adam’s Natural Peanut Butter has teamed up with the National Parks Conservation Association to encourage everyone to make a difference this winter. This can be as simple as visiting during the winter for cold geocaching or remembering to bring along a bag to pick up garbage as you hike to keep the parks clean, but most importantly, use the parks. Bundle up and take a walk through a different kind of beauty.
Disclosure: The Adams and JM Smucker brands provided me with a gift pack as part of this campaign.